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Police arrest two they say behind bloody crime spree

Samuel Wade Wright and Alton Shontodd Moses are responsible for 12 robberies and three murders in Miami-Dade, detectives say.

BY DAVID OVALLE

dovalle@herald.com

Apr. 14, 2005 - Twelve robberies. Three victims shot dead. Miami-Dade detectives have arrested the two men they say are responsible for the bloody crime spree in South Miami-Dade County in recent months.

Samuel Wade Wright, 19, and Alton Shontodd Moses have each been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and multiple robbery and drug charges.

Their victims, police say:

• David Nelson, 25, a manager at Foot Locker at the Southland Mall, who was robbed April 1 as he made a night deposit at a nearby Regions Bank. He has three young children. He was shot once through the back.

• Gurdeep Singh Salvja, 43, shot dead Feb. 21 behind the counter of a Marathon Food Center in Kendall. The robbers loot: nothing.

• Hung Duong, 19, shot and killed Jan. 27 at Million Dollar Nails. It happened at 1 p.m. The salon is next to a day care.

Miami-Dade police declined to comment but plan to detail the arrests at a news conference today.

Detectives were able to piece together a description of their car from at least one of the murders, an older model dark-colored Lincoln Continental known to be in the Richmond Heights neighborhood.

Officers from Miami-Dade's Robbery Intervention Detail flooded the area. On Tuesday, they spied the Continental and pulled it over. Initially, Moss and Wright were arrested on drug-possession charges.

But officers also found evidence linking them to the spree: a shotgun, semiautomatic handgun -- and a mask and jacket linked to the robberies through video surveillance.

Both suspects have had brushes, if minor, with the law.

Miami-Dade police officers arrested Moses in 2000 for using explosives, according to state records, although it was unclear Wednesday night whether Moses was convicted.

Wright was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession earlier this year, according to county records.

On Wednesday, detectives called Eugenie Cyriaque, the mother of Nelson, the Foot Locker manager gunned down at the bank, with news of the arrests.

''It's a huge relief to get these guys off the streets,'' Cyriaque said.

At the Marathon Food Center, detectives say the suspects killed Salvja and left him dying on the floor.

''There's closure, but it still opens up wounds that won't heal,'' his cousin, Arvid Singh, told WFOR-CBS4.

At Million Dollar Nails in Kendall, where Duong had been gunned down, the news of the arrests was met with guarded joy.

''These guys got caught,'' said the shop's owner, Sonny Pham.

"They cannot hurt anybody else.''

 

 

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